Wolverhampton has been chosen as the first places to benefit from government regeneration funding. It follows ministers declaring that they want to help transform derelict areas of 20 towns and cities in England, with new housing and jobs.
Some government figures, though, do not think the plans are ambitious enough, with concerns the proposals repackage certain policies that have already been announced.
The government's levelling up policy paper is also set to outline plans to expand devolution in England.
The regeneration of the 20 locations is being funded by part of a £1.5bn fund that had already been announced, with the money being made available from April. The money was initially promised by the Chancellor at the last Budget.
Some money from the fund will be used for loans to builders and developers to create 42,000 homes, most of which will be outside of London and the South East. Part of the plans includes funding 7,800 new homes in the North and Midlands on disused brownfield land. Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said that the plans would help to transform these areas, as well as relieving pressure on green fields and infrastructure in the South East.
Gove wrote: "While talent is spread equally across the UK, opportunity is not. Our country is a success story, but not everyone is sharing in it.
"We need to tackle, and reverse, the inequality that is limiting so many horizons, and which also harms our economy. The gap between much of the South East and the rest of the country - in productivity, health outcomes, wages, school results and job opportunities - must be closed."
Labour's Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy said the brownfield funding announcement was ‘recycled money’ that would give a bit of a refund in a few places of investment lost under the Conservatives.
“The announcement”, she added, “completely misses the point, with people needing good jobs and wages to ensure levelling up was a success.” The party has set out its own five-point plan for levelling up, including better broadband for towns and villages, action to tackle anti-social behaviour in city centres, and more affordable housing.
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that a further 100 places outside London is said to benefit from extra funding for arts and culture from 2023. Arts Council England will identify the locations, and DCMS said 100% of the additional funding recently agreed for the group would go to supporting culture and creativity outside of the capital.